Rome — Most of the glaciers in the Alps collapsed on Sunday afternoon, barking on the Italian hillside, slamming ice, snow and rocks on hikers on popular trails on the summit, killing at least six people and injuring eight. Authorities said.
About 10 people may be missing, and civil protection official Gianpaolo Bottacin reportedly states in the online version of the Italian daily Corrieredella Sera. However, Bottasin later said it was still impossible to provide state television with a solid number.
The Marmolada glaciers are the largest in the Dolomites in northeastern Italy, where people ski in the winter.
By Sunday night, authorities were still working to determine how many hikers were in the area when the ice avalanche struck, said the National Alpine Rescue Team, which claimed casualties. Spokesman Walter Milano said.
Rescuers were checking parking lot license plates as part of a check to determine how many people may not have been explained. This process can take several hours.
“We saw dead (people) and huge ice and rock masses,” rescuer Luigi Felissetti, who looks exhausted, told Italian state television.
The nationality and age of the dead were not immediately known, Milan said. Of the eight survivors hospitalized, two were in serious condition, officials said.
According to the local online media site ildolomiti.it, the fast-moving avalanche “falls down with a roaring sound that can be heard from a distance.”
Earlier, the National Alpine and Cave Rescue Team posted on Twitter that at least five helicopters and rescue dogs were involved in the search for areas involving the summit of Marmorada.
Temporarily more victims or missing while rescuers assess the potential risk of more glaciers collapsing after rescue dogs perform rescue missions with search dogs The search was stopped, Walter Cainelli told state television.
Rescue teams said the ice blocks continued to crumble. In the evening, it started to rain.
A SUEM dispatch service based in the nearby Veneto area said 18 people above the ice-struck area would be evacuated by the Alpine rescue team.
However, Milan said he might be able to get off some of the slopes himself, including using the cable car at the top of the mountain.
According to SUEM, the avalanche consisted of “snow, ice, and rocks pouring down.” The detached part is known as Serak, or the apex of ice.
At a height of about 3,300 meters (about 11,000 feet), Marmolada is the highest peak in the eastern Dolomites and offers spectacular views of other Alpine peaks.
The Alpine Rescue Service tweeted that the segment was disrupted near Puntarokka (Rockpoint) “usually along the itinerary used to reach its peak.”
It was not immediately clear what caused the ice to collapse and rush down the slopes of the summit. However, the heat wave that hit Italy after late June could be a factor.
“Recent temperatures have clearly affected the partial collapse of the glacier,” President Maurizio Fugatti of Trent, which borders Marmolada, told Sky TG24 news.
However, Milan emphasized that the high fever, which surged above 10 ° C (50 ° F) abnormally at the recent peak of Marmolada, is the only possible cause of Sunday’s tragedy.
“There are so many factors that can be involved,” Milan said. Avalanches are generally unpredictable, and the effects of heat on glaciers are “more unpredictable,” he said.
According to rescue teams, the injured were taken to several hospitals in the Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto areas.